For me, the worst part of AskUbuntu compared to StackOverflow is the influx of bad questions.
One example to hand (not necessarily the best example) is Ubuntu 11.10 freezes on boot, just installed.
What I think is bad about this question (at least at the moment I'm writing) is:
- The title sounds like something that might apply to anyone but there's no good reason to think another machine that freezes will be doing so for the same reason.
- There are answers (which should be, at most, comments) where other people report similar problems, probably from different causes
- The question is incomplete and it's likely to either stay that way or turn into a long comment thread to eventually work it out
- Questions like this are unlikely to get votes or acceptance
The result is that it does not produce a wiki of reusable answers in the way that StackOverflow aspires to do.
I wonder if AskUbuntu should actually send people who are having machine specific problems to either file a bug, or a Launchpad answer (though that ui is not great), or to some other site that is user-friendly but better suited to an ongoing user-specific question (getsatisfaction.com?)
I wonder, too, what we should do with these questions. Sometimes they are answered in a way that helps that individual user, but they are generally not adding value to the site. I am inclined to start downvoting them, but this seems unfair to the questioner, who doesn't know they're doing something bad.
To summarize the comment discussion so far: we can improve AU by just pointing the user to bug filing advice and promptly closing the question.